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tv   Charlie Rose  PBS  October 24, 2012 12:00am-1:00am PDT

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tonight, following last night's debate about foreign policy between the two presidential candidate, we talk about the future of foreign policy with zbigniew brzezinski, david ignatius, michael mazarr and general jim jones. >> i quite agree that my judgment is that much of the world wants u.s. leadership, they don't feel comfortable without it, but they no longer react to any dictatorial or any due toarls from us. they want to participate but they also want to be listened to. >> i am not even sure where the word leader hip is a good word to describe the role america should play in the world. we should be playing the stabilizing role. we should be organizing our coalitions, we should be a source of stability, but when we talk about leadership, too many people think of the iraq and 2003, which was a fatally bad exercise of leadership. >> rose: we conclude this
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evening with dexter filkins of the new yorker magazine who has a remarkable story about death in iraq and reunion in the united states. >> the i interviewed a guy in the peace, a psychiatrist who used the term moral injury and he said a lot of soldiers and marines stuff from moral injury, which he described as sort of it happens when you get an order, you do something that you believe at the time was absolutely correct and the only thing you could do, and it turns out to have been, to have terrible consequences. that is basically what happened here. >> rose: american foreign policy and a dexter filkins story. when we come back. funding for charlie rose was provided by the following.
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additional funding provided by these funders. captioning sponsored by rose communications from our studios in new york city, this is charlie rose.
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rose. >> rose: we begin this evening with the 2012 election last night, president obama and mitt romney balanced it out in the third and final debate. at lynn university in boca raton florida, the suggest was foreign policy but discussion often veered toward domestic concerns as well, the two men addressed a range of issues, including iran, china and the u.s. economy and offered the candidate the last chance to face-off before the election which is now just two weeks ahead. joining me now is a distinguished group of the wealth of knowledge when it comes to foreign policy, from washington's zbigniew brzezinski, national security advisor, under president jimmy carter, david ignatius of the washington post and michael mazarr, professor of national security strategy at the u.s. national war college. with me in new york, general jim jones, former national security advisor for president obama. i am pleased to have each of them here on this program to talk about this important topic. michael tell me what the essential argument is that you are outlining in this piece.
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>> well, yes, the essential argument of the piece is that the current u.s. strategic posture is unsustainable. we have a de facto strategic paradigm that guides the national security policy that is extremely demanding. it is the legacy of the post colorado war period and in many ways the cold war, demands that the united states maintain, deployment all over the world and maintain military capacity to go into many regions of the world and defeat regional adversaries, maintain diplomatic influence and presence to be able to resolve many crises in the world, in short, it has the u.s. as the basic world solution to many problems, and my argument is that that posture is becoming insolvent, for a variety of reasons, not only are domestic economic problems that are making our current level of defense expenditures unsustainable but also transit
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world politics that are leading to a world of increasingly assertive emerging powers that definitely still want american leadership, but are yes, sir and, less and less tolerant of a world in which america dictates the outcome of problems so for those and other reasons i think that the default paradigm we have relied on is becoming unsustainable and we need to begin a dialogue about new options, new concepts that would underwrite a more sustainable vision for u.s. leadership going forward. >> rose: okay. having said that, david, ignatius, what was it that was so compelling to you that you felt like you should say that this was a more conversation than what you heard, more important conversation than what you heard in the presidential debate. >> this article was recommended to me by a friend in the pentagon who said you really have got to read this, it is something really fresh and important and i did and what i thought was crucial was that professor mazarr is offering an
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argument that america needs to resize its power and its conception of power to fit the world that is changing, that if we keep these traditional concepts as professor mazarr just said, we will be stuck in a condition of insolvency and be trying to stretch fabric beyond what it can reach and the fabric will rip. america's commitments will begin to come undone. and i thought especially in setting up this presidential debate last night on foreign policy it was important to raise some of these issues about the sort of basic solvency, the basic coherence of what we are trying to do in our foreign policy, and i thought there was a tone in the debate, we will talk more about it, but i thought both candidates were in effect recognizing that there are limits to what america can do and more important, programs more important limits to what the american public is prepared to tolerate right now. >> rose: i want to go first to general jones then zbigniew
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brzezinski because these are the kind of questions you had to face when i don't took office in 2008, in sense of how you looked at them and how the president looked at them and how he tried to act within the context of new ideas. >> well, the whole setup for analyzing the world that we face was based on an initial premise that we needed to take, size up the problems, talk to the people that historically were causing us difficulties and see if there was some way, some way to proceed ahead as we now know in some ace cases we made some progress. i would cite the star treaty as an example of a successful couple of years of hard work with the russians. on the other hand, with the middle east and iran, we are probably right back where we were, you know, three or four years ago. so it is -- it is great to be able to come in and try to think strategically but you really
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many times are driven by the tactics of the moment and you find yourself responding to the tactical impulses that face us and that is very hard to keep that strategic focus. >> rose: people often say about this administration and others, a lot of tactics but not much grand strategy. >> well, the world is a vastly different place and i think the very concept of national security, and i agree with what michael just postulated and i have been speaking that way myself for the last couple of years, but the world that we created in the 20th century i is the world that we face now and when mike mullen, the former chairman of the joint chiefs says he at that thought the greatest threat to national security was the economy i agree with him. i also this i that strategically what we are facing for the republicans, as far ahead as i can see certainly for the next 20 years or so we are facing a world where our ability to compete and the economic sphere
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in the political sphere and in the securities fear will, we will have to be shaped dramatically differently and by the way, i don't think that we are going to have to be the ones that always do it by ourselves. i think we are going to have to get the developing nations that are wealthier now to accept their share of responsibility, when you come on the playing field as a developed country, with that comes some responsibility. i quite agree that my judgment is that much of the world wants u.s. leadership, they don't feel comfortable without it but they no longer react to any dictatorial or any tutorials from us, they want to participate but they also want to be listened to. >> rose: bic it up there, zbigniew because you not only thought about these ideas but wrote about some of these ideas in your last book. >> well he me, let me just make two points and one is sort of pertaining to our leaders and the other one pertaining to the world. i very much plea with the thesis of the arld, article, but it is related to a broadly change,
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namely that the nape of international politics as changed very dramatically in and the distribution of power in the world has changed dramatically and what struck me talking to obama before he run for the presidency was he understood that, that he really had a deep understanding of the complexity of the 21st century and the contrasts between it and the 20th century, which was a century gom made by them money, hegemony wards, i think obama understood well we are in a different world i am less sure that romney understood it, although yesterday he actually proclaimed himself to be very much .. thinking along the same lines, and i think that is probably an adjustment in his foreign policy views, because of the election, and also perhaps because of the decreasing dependence within the romney counsels on the neocons who are perhaps more influential in the earlier stages of his campaign
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for the nomination and then for the presidency. so that is one point. my second point is that the solvency issue and the related issues of distribution of power in the world applies to almost every major power in the world. i think we are not solvent in terms of our expectations of leadership, neither is china, neither is india, i have just read the indian two-year strategic plan and it is quite striking about the disproportion between what they would like to be doing and what they can afford. europe certainly is not solvent major military power. we are living in a world in which, in fact, distribution of the means of power has become more egalitarian, more vaguely distributed and more unstable, and, therefore, i am not even sure whether the word leader hip is to describe the role u.s. should play in the world. we should be playing a stabilizing role, and working
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coalitions and be a source of stability, when we talk about leadership, too many people think of iraq in 2003, which was a fatally bad exercise of leadership. >> rose: you said michael, it is not the decline of american power but the over extension of american power even in the context of a world that power has been difficult expertsed., dispersed. >> i agree with everything the other two guests have said, i think zbigniew brzezinski has created, written about about these trends and one of the mismatches involved here is in the traditional instruments of power we brought to bear on these problems and the nature of the problems themselves. so i think that the over extension of u.s. power is partly a product of the global responsibilities we have, and it is partly a product of the nature of the problems we are dealing with, but if you look specifically at, farm, the condition of some of the u.s.
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services today, the navy, the air force, the operational tempo that we forced them to maintain over the last decade, we are building a significantly overextended military and that principle applies to our power generally. >> i would just simply add that i think that what we are facing here is a situation where the traditional use of power is no longer single dimensional use of power, in other words send in the military. >> rose: right. >> there will be times when that has to be done, but generally they will be few and far between. i believe that what we are heading into is a world where it is the application of some total of our whole of government, if you will, whole of society application, that includes the private sector, the public sector, and even ngos in some cases. >> rose: for lack of a better word, a smart power. >> well, a smart power but also the type of application of force
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that is a lot cheaper, it is a lot cheaper to be preventative than proactive than it is to be reactive. if you have an organization like nato, for example, that basically constructed a sit until something reaches critical mass and then you wait to spend ten years trying to fight your way out of it it is horribly expensive but if you can turn an organization like nato, which is an alliance of 28 countries more and may grow to even more, into a more proactive force for helping developing countries protect themselves, helping countries that, like the west african coastline that doesn't have coast guards or navies to help the flow of traffic, drugs, human trafficking, fisheries, you know, over utilization and so on and so forth, bunkering of oil and the like, then i think you have a different application of force but a much more cohesive way that could prevent future -- the future afghanistans in the, and the future iraqs, it is very expensive to train military
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forces for the worst case and only use it in case of fire. i think that it is worth considering a more preventative use and more proactive use of the totality of things that are -- that define us and i think that only the united states really, can really, can really do that today or has the will to do that in the capacity and industry talked to many people in the private sector who really are enthused about becoming more closer with our public policy, to shape the future overseas and benefit our economy as well. >> rose: before i go to david and michael, you have argued before that the united states, help me understand exactly the words you would use, but principally coming out of iraq, lost its credibility with the rest of the world, lost its admiration from the rest of the world? >> yes, i would use the word legitimacy. i thought much of the world thought america's engagement in the world in the traditional word here is leadership was legitimate because it stood in a
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wider sense for the collective interests and not just our own. i think the fact that we fought a war on the basis of such falsified justification without real good case that it was either in our national interests or anybody else's national interest i think has discredited the united states. but i continue to think that the united states has a major role to play in the world, but the word i would use would be responsibility, that is to say, some articulation of a national consensus regarding the kind of international structure and arrangements we seek that would benefit humanity more generally. and that has to be credible, it has to be practical. i think we can conceptualize it, my worry about it, however, is that we can only have a foreign policy that our public understands and supports and my judgment is that our public doesn't understand the world, is not informed about it and entertains great many prejudices
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or misconceptions about the world an and and is versus septemberable to demagoguery, on the basis of fear and that six makes it very difficult to pursue the policy of really genuinely historical responsibility to the world at large. and that, i think, in fact, makes the maintenance of an intelligent constructive foreign policy, the adoption of such a policy and its pursuit very, very difficult. >> rose: david? >> well, i think what zbig is always well received, when i think about the real problems this a administration that is facing that will be around for whoever is elected on november 6th, i start with syria, where there is a violent civil war taking place, where the united states has tried to keep its distance, tried to be restrained in its use of power but there is a situation here that is leading
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to an evermore violent and unhappy outcome, so i just have been in syria for several days and came out feeling that some change, some different way of using our power is important. i have been trying to think how would we help coordinate funding for the rebel free syrian army in a way that enhanced command and control so that they were better able to defeat bashar, that they were better able to govern after the fall of assad and programs most important they were better able to help us control the weapons of mass destruction that assad's government has and will be up for grabs if think regime should fall. so there is an example where, you know, it is fine to talk about resizing american power, but you need to talk about how power should be used in quite specific terms, that is what i wish i heard more of last night. i heard two candidates understanding that america
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doesn't want to start anymore wars, that that decade is over, and we want to be finished of it. so what are we going to do? how are we going to apply american power in ways that make a difference? the middle east is in a wild rolling transition, the notion i the united states n just stand by and watch is clearly wrong. actually use our power to help egypt make a successful transition i would love to hear about that. how should we get involved in syria so the outcome is not the worst and that is what we need more of and unfortunately we didn't get it in this presidential campaign. >> rose: but you took note of the fact you thought the candidate were coming together and that signified something? >> i think what it signifies, i think what last night that's debate told us above all is that the american people are in a different place, that these candidates were speaking to a country that doesn't want more u.s. military interventions and that is a discipline and controlling factor, but i didn't
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-- i didn't hear ideas about what we are going to do instead. we are not going to go to war with boots on the ground, okay. got that. and professor mazarr's points i think are being understood. but what are the other things that we are going to do in this world that is really very, very unstable now? >> rose: so what do we do about syria? take one example, zbig. >> well for one thing one has to ask oneself what does it mean arming people, sending them into war, regarding which it isn't very clear who exactly all of the combatants are, and what are the prospects perhaps that the war rapidly spreading? syria is next door to iraq. iraq is on the verge of a breakdown between the sunnis and the shiites into civil war. and syria also is on the brink, on the edge of the kurds, and their role in the region could be very, very destabilizing if
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the war started spreading. there is of course iran next door which could come in some fashion involved. in brief, i have the feeling that it is not exactly within the realm of our means or our resources or compatible with our recent experience to enter the fray without thinking very seriously about the likelihood that if we enter into it, particularly we enter into it, because we are not exactly very popular in the middle east these days, the result would be a much wider war, with really serious consequences that for turkey and perhaps for jordan and saudi arabia and because of economic consequences for europe, so i am afraid that the word i tend to emphasize in this context the prudence, rather than engagement. >> rose:. >> but i think i heard both candidates say they would not
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put -- it was ditches in terms of what kind of arms they might supply on the one hand communication equipment an on the other hand from -- light to heavy -- >> you can't start supplying weapons with someone without becoming tied to the consequences of that, that kind of detach. from the supply of arms and eventual engagement in the process, especially if the supply of arms creates temptation to spread that war. >> rose: what do you do about arms? >> i think you do have to know who those arms are going to, because it could come back and haunt you, obviously. >> rose: but can you control that? >> well, whether we do it or somebody else does it, you know, it is happening, so. >> rose: the arms are going in, you mean? >> but, you know, i just came back from the region also, mostly in turkey and northern -- the northern part of iraq and there is -- there is almost a
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sourful note that says where is the united states in this? you know, why aren't you doing what you formally do? you know, so we get criticized for doing too much and we get criticized for doing too little. i think this is, you know -- one thing that doesn't get a lot of press am announcement is just recently just before the outbreak of violence in egypt we had the largest trade december in u.s. chamber of commerce history visit cairo, right up until the day before the riots started. and northern iraq and turkey, we just had about 40 companies visit both countries, and we were met very eagerly by -- in all countries. the appetite for american presence manifested through private sector engagement is very high. and i believe that there are
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combinations of things that you can dial up as you need them, from the security pillar, from the economic pillar, from the governance rule of law pillar, even from the ngos to remedy situations. it won't be the same solution everywhere, but if you not going to put troops on the ground now or if you decide you are not going to do it period there are other things you can do to shape the outcome of whatever situation you are trying to effect. but sitting back and being perceived as not doing enough is not good for the united states. >> rose: not to choose is to choose as someone said. >> exactly. >> rose: michael what are the options that would be, achieve some results without violating the essential argument that you are making about over extension and getting too involved in too many places? >> >> you are talk about in syria specifically? >> rose: yes. >> i think that as we heard both candidate are groping for a new model of how to make a difference in these kind of
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circumstances, and i agree strongly with david ignatius that we have come out of ten years of these extended deployments which is a model that nobody wants to repeat. and i was really struck last might in the debate, especially about the discussion of afghanistan which is a war we have been fighting for ten years with enormous financial investment, a significant and precious investment of u.s. lives and now we are on a track to get u.s. troops out of there by a certain deadline and nobody is questioning that because of david ignatius says the u.s. public doesn't have the will for that kind of commitment anymore. what is lacking is the new specific operational concept of not only how you make the short-term difference, because at we find in libya, bringing, getting the older regime out of power and bringing a new group of people into power is only the first of many steps to create the kind of stability that really serves u.s. interests, and the complete strategic concept that brings you from beginning to end that gives you
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an alternate five way of approaching these things is something that we haven't .. really started to put together, i am not sure there is one, really, and part of as i think david ignatius was saying, what was going on last night was the beginning of the acceptance of limits of american power in these circumstances and i know part of what the current administration has been doing has been trying to narrow u.s. goals and focus on those few interests and foals that really can be achieved in these circumstances. but what you have right now almost as a divergence of this traditional paradigm and the rhetoric associated with it of expansive global responsibilities, and the reality of the limits of american power and then as we confront all of these specific scenarios we have that constant dilemma, of things we are called to do but we don't have the model to do it. so i think we can develop as the administration has been doing, options that are built on multilateral commitments that are built on potentially arming opposition groups that are built
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on a variety of similar steps. but they are going to be very messy, and they are not going to staff a lot of streaks of short-term action and we are going to have to keep at em for a long period of time, it is not going to be as clean as advocates of intervention had one once thought. >> rose: zbig you are smiling as you heard him say that. what does that smile mean? >> well i just don't understand involved, how we can get involved in supporting and arming and thus into sense filing the makings of a civil war, without thinking as to how long it may last, how much blood will it consume, how deeply we will have to become engaged, and how it might spread. this is an extremely volatile region. you have to think of it as not just syria which is more than 20 million people, yes, 30,000 have been killed but it is 20 million people and domestic of the 20 million people are
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still controlled by the government. so we are going to try to over throw that, so we are going to make that civil war more intense, more expensive, more bloody. and it will affect the neighborhood, because it will it is destabilize jordan and already destabilizing lebanon and might draw in the tux, are the turks ready to launch into syria, maybe they would like to clean up syria but we have to ask ourselves about the consequences, if we try are we prepared to do it seriously or just provide arms as it progressively gets worse. >> i think after ten years in afghanistan, after the mess in iraq we better think calmly and coldly about this issue. it is very emotional because there are a lot of human suffering involved. >> rose: okay. >> but i would like someone to lay out a blueprint for how this problem is to be solved by us starting first with arming the opposition but excluding and eventual massive involvement and
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with the region exploding. >> rose: but you are not saying we have to withdraw? >> no, but. >> rose: from the world. >> there are other ways of trying to cope with it, one of which still involves an effort to get china and russia to join us, and put pressure on the assad regime for some arrangement that might be viable, but we have to do that by getting them to be with us and not dictating how it is to be done, and then when the russians and the chinese object to our formula we condemn them publicly as being pitiful and disgustingable, to boat the words of a prominent american administration member. >> rose: gaifd you have to get back in. i know you want to respond to that. >> i think the ex-polls of how important in is around the region is proof positive that we can't just sit this one out or. >> rose: that we cannot? >> cannot. i mean, we have to -- we have to be engaged. >> but how? >> in shaping the outcome. >> rose: but how? >> what we are talking about is how you do that. right? >> rose: and i. >> and i am saying let's see if
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we can still do it with the international community with uses and i think having the russians and the chinese is not yet to be excluded, and we can't really rely on the advice of the french and the british because they are the architects of the mess that is how beginning to clams. >> rose: suppose you try to do that and they tried to do that at the united nations and tried to do do that at other places, mr. donald and general jones's successors have been over to talk to the chinese and been to russia to talk to putin and made this effort to get them to do something and they can't seem to agree on any joint action. i mean joint proposals to do something diplomatically. david. >> yes, but wait a minute, wait a minute, we send them over to tell the chinese and the russians, what we have concluded has to be done, we announce some of it publicly, and then we were surprised they said no, that this is not something that they are prepared to back. are
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they supposed to follow our quote unquote leadership just like that mc mechanically? is o you seem to suggest that the chinese and russians are right to, right to reject because of the stumble in the way the u.s. showed the interest. >> they thought perhaps it was immature because assad seemed to be falling so quickly the fact of the matter is that he is still in control of the vast majority of sir i can' syrians,s and that's the reality we have to face. >> rose: but a declining member. >> well we don't know, all we know is that after one year of an uprising, the so-called resistance are in control of tiny bits of territory. >> rose: david. >> and population. >> so -- >> a it is tragic -- >> but it is hike deciding mean 38 to go and join the spanish civil war to resolve it. >> but there are those who say that because it has gotten worse
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and worse because other people who have come in and have contaminated any possibility of being able to do something now and those players have made it much more difficult and we have come to some kind of action, diplomatic or otherwise earlier we would have been in a much better place. david. >> if i can burden this conversation with observations of actually having been there. first, very extensive area of northern syria is, in fact, fall then to the rebel army because you can travel all over northern syria unimpeded, let me offer some specific things that i think could be done that don't mean going all the way and doing everything, but your inability to do everything doesn't mean you should do nothing. it should be the policy of the united states to try to win vladimir putin the nobel peace prize. we should do everything we can to try to help him broker some
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kind of political transition in syria. i think that the administration understands that but often they have let their rhetoric get out of control and they get peeved that but fin is so -- he is not laying by what we think of as his own interests. second, without turning this into another afghanistan and arming the rebels at that level, the united states simply by coordinating the existing flow of money to the rebel army so that commanders who are trying to exercise command and control inside the country get the bulk of the money and then can distribute it and the process become, and in the process become more powerful we can change the way things feel on the grouped. in aleppo it is pell-mell, you have people running into the headquarters of the free syrian army pleading for weapons and commanders there who would like to be more disciplined, would
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like to arm their fighters in the process get their loyalty who can't, because they just haven't been given the understood and guess who is getting the money to buy weapons, guess who is getting more powerful on the ground in syria? it is the extremist jihad disneys, some of them linked directly to al qaeda in iraq. those are the people who are gaining as the more moderate forces are losing ground. that is not a good situation. it strikes me these are the kind of problems not to be flip that intelligence services were invented to deal with. this is not an issue unless we get to a question of the chemical weapons being loose that should be dealt with by american boots on the ground, but there are all kind of things the united states could do that would involve relatively limited risk that would effect us in ways that would make a good outcome more likely and a really terrible outcome that i see ahead less likely.
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>> rose: general jones. >> 21 years ago we intervened in northern iraq to bring over a million kurds out of the mountains of southern turkey as a result of a stampede caused by saddam hussein's threat to attack with chemical and biological weapons. at the very minimum, i think we should be very concerned about the people who are being killed and wounded, i think we should be outraged by that, and we should be helping regional allies like the turks and others to try to figure out ways to solve that problem. this is not insoluble, and the united states doesn't have a habit of standing on the sidelines watching, you know, for long periods of time innocent people getting killed. i think if we are not, we should be working very closely with our moderate arab friends who are very concerned about this. and -- >> rose: you mean the saudis and -- >> yes. uae, exactly. and that reinforces the leadership faction of the
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leadership coefficient of what the united states traditionally does. it doesn't mean you have to invade t country, but i quite agree with david that there are a lot of things that you could put together and not just do it union launilaterally but do it a collegial way with -- with countries who have not only the finances to be able to do this but to organize in such a way that it is more effective and i think particularly where innocent people are being killed and wounded i think that the international community could and should do a lot more. we have a number of these con ten genesis we face around the world that have been identified particularly in the post 9/11 environment as being things that are essential to our fascial security, because failed states give off terrorism and instability. so we have told ourselves we have to be concerned about them. we can't stand by the side lines as we say. but now after ten years, where we have seen the limits of a model we once had, we had this
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supposed nation building stability operations model that was going to allow us to go into situations, resolve them, bring them to a higher level of stability. now we have seen the limits argued with the failures of some aspects of that model. and we are basically left without a new model. so we confront still these problems and we are going in an ad hoc way from one to the next, which is unsurprising given the nature of the challenge, trying to figure out what our goals are, what our interests are and what instruments we can bring to bear and i think dr. zbigniew brzezinski highlights a critical question which is one thing we need to develop in developing a new concept, if you go in for a little bit militarily with aid to one group, does that tie a string that will put you in, inevitably, in a much bigger way? i am not sure the answer is always yes, but under what exns is it yes and what kind of commitments are you making? these are all the questions that need to be asked with a new kind of concept that allows us to say there is a problem like libya,
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will is a problem like syria, here is where we begin, here are the tools we expect to apply, but we haven't gotten that far yet because we are just coming off a concept that we are leaving behind, and we haven't developed a new concept yet. >> rose: mr. zbig. >> there are two powers next to syria who are very important and very relevant to the future of what happens. one is saudi arabia. we have to be very careful about that because the saudis are deeply involved right now in fanning sunni shiite conflict in sir, i can't is that really in our interests? are we really supposed to be supporting that? and how will this impact .. on the iranian reaction? i think that warrants some caution. the second one is turkey. turkey is important 18 million country, 18 million people, it has the best army in nato, outside of the united states, actually. what about the turks? you are going to have an american involvement in arming the rebels, potentially an american
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engagement in the conflict i think we have to pay much more attention to what the neighbors want to do. if the turks want zero to intervene fine we can back them, if they don't want to intervene, i don't think the united states should be ahead of them. >> rose:. >> i agree with that. but i also think that we can't give a regional, a region like the one we are talking about an appearance that we are sitting this one out what we are talking about is how do we shape it? and i think as zbig was right when he said, if w we are not involved with the saudis and the turks and the uae and the other countries in the region, and if we are not talking to them on a daily basis, we can't possibly know what they are doing, and we can't possibly shape their behavior, so you have got to be involved and you have got to project the right kind of leadership and concern and only the united states, and this is something that gets repeated to me all the time in my private sector world, only with the
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united states can bring these people together, can bring these different groups together and try to make some sense of it. >> rose: david. >> i think that the discussion we have had tonight illustrates precisely why michael mazarr's article is worth reading, because he is trying to any through, what is there between the traditional set of commitments we have, the all in, pay any price, bear any burden, deploy our uniformed forces overseas, between doing that and nothing, how do we resize so as to achieve our security goals and add stability to the world, but at a level that we can afford in every sense, economically, strategically, in terms of our alliance structure, and i, zbig has left us now but i would say to zbig i would say surely there is some way between
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doing nothing and letting this thing get worse and worse and doing everything and getting ourselves into a big mess that nobody wants, surely there are other options and sometimes those are the options that don't get discussed on tv but that doesn't mean they are not there, and so, you know, i hope whether it is president romney or president obama that they will be thinking about those gradations which is where i think michael mazarr's article ought to lead us in terms of thinking, well how do we resize? >> rose: thank you, general jones, thank you, michael, thank you, david and tanks also to zbigniew brzezinski, back in a moment, stay with us. >> rose: dexter filkins is here, a veteran, award winning war correspondent in the current issue of the new yorker he writes about a u.s. marine search for redemption after serving in iraq, i am pleased to have dexter filkins back at this table. welcome. >> thank you. >> rose: this article is
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called atonement. it is an extraordinary story. >> i am part of the story, but i was driving around baghdad in a rental car, you know, a week after saddam hussein fell, the whole capital if you remember was in chaos, buildings were on fire, and people were looting i drove past a hospital where i saw a huge crowd trying to, you know, trying to tear the building apart and i went inside, i found an iraqi family, a woman in particular who had at the time i think was about 20 years old and had been shot by these americans in the shoulder pretty badly, her father had been killed, inner two brothers had been killed and it kind of, you know, it was an accident, basically they got caught in a firefight, the marines, you know, thinking they were the enemy shot and killed the male members of their families. >> rose: shot and killed the drivers. >> the drivers, yes. and i wrote a story about it, that was nine years ago and that was it. i mean, that was one of, you know, hundreds and hundred of stories that i wrote back then,
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and more or less forgot about it. it was a sad story. a couple of months ago out of the blue, i got a facebook message from a guy i never heard of, his name is bellow and he said are you the guy that wrote that story about the iraqi family that got shot up in baghdad back in 2003? i am one of the people that shot him. wow know i need your help, basically and that is kind of where it started. >> needed your help to do what? >> well, remarkly and again this story is filled with kind of miracles, but there were the two survivors in the family, there was nora catch dorian, armenian christians which makes them a minority in baghdad, nora, the 20-year-old i met then she is now 31 or so, her mother, margaret, they now live in glendale, california, amazingly, first they stayed in baghdad for
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three years, four years, it got the height of the civil war they fled to syria, and they got asylum in the united states a couple of years ago. the marine who contacted me, lou, h he he lives in san diegoo it turns out after all of this, after all of this time, all of this anguish, one of the guys that put bullets into their car, isabello lives two hours away from the survivors of this terrible accident. >> what was the story when he came back from iraq? >> he is pretty damaged i think, i think they all were. you know, it was a very strange circumstance. it was an intersection, i mean this sort of thick happened a lot in iraq, but there was an intersection, 1,065,000 american troops are con verbaling on baghdad, this is april 8 of 2003, it is day before saddam hussein fell, and as they walked into the city, suddenly iraqi army, what was level of it opened fire so they got into
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this gigantic firefight and fired thousands of rounds of ammunition and dozen of mar trees were wounded. >> and they were just driving into the section and, intersection and they were just trying to flee and they didn't know so the marines didn't know eitherable they thought who are these people driving right toward us so they opened fire. >> a caravan three of them. >> yes in this case the family, nine members of their family and their dog, and basically all of their valuables in three cars driving and racing to get to their house which was just around the corner and the americans saw them coming, and they opened fire and they opened fire on a lot of people that day, a lot of civilians because, again, they didn't know, there were bullets flying everywhere and thermometer tied, they thought they were suicide bombers or something so they opened fire on these cars, she jumps out of the car, she used to teach english in baghdad, she was a english literature student and started screaming in english, we are the peace
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people. we are the peace people. and so the marines stunned stopped firing and in the middle of this gunbattle, ran out into the intersection to bet them. so, you know,, the men are dead, the women are still alive, they get them out, it is pretty sad story. and so the marines who were involved in that, including the guy that called me, isabello, you know, a lot of them are kind of wrecked. >> rose: came back and could never put it together? >> yeah. they didn't -- yeah, i meanable it is an amazing story. i mean, lou, you know, who i think was 19 or 20 at the time, he had a big machine gun, you know, he didn't think about it for a few years, not until he got out of the marines and then he said he was just looking on the internet one night looking for stories about his unit and, bang, out pops my story about this civilian, these iraqi, this iraqi family. >> rose: he felt guilt about it and had nightmares about it before. >> yes he was tormented and certainly tormented now so when he got that name, when he got
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the name of the family he thought i have to find these people, i have to find them. and that is he spent the last five years looking for them and he set up a web site. >> rose: he had gone through -- let me kind of -- >> there is a whole range of reactions among all of these marines but lou i think was, yeah, tormented i think, you know, basically as he explained to me, hasn't snrept through the night in nine years, you know, just can't get it out of his head, painkillers, the whole glitz so what happens when they come together? >> well, it is amazing. i mean he called me and said can you kind of help me do this? i think they are in glendale, and i can't just knock on their door. i am the guy that pumped bullets into their car. so i called the and they remembered me, oh, yeah, sure. come on over. so -- >> rose: war kors sfon democratic. >> exactly i so i jumped on an
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airplane and flew to glendale and they live in a kind of beautiful palm lined street in glen gale glendale and the sweetest people in the world,. >> rose: and did they want to see him? >> they were pretty tentative about it at first, but they said look we for give him, they are christians and jehovah's witnesses which is remarkable, i didn't know there were any in iraq but very religious, which isn't surprising given everything they have been through and they said, you know,, okay. we will see him, you know,. we will see him. and goll, it was amazing, when he finally came, so i was there and kind of brought them together and lou, you know, lou started crying the moment he saw them, and so there was this long meeting and this very small living room where they live, you know, the catch dorians, nora's husband, their two kids, i was their photographer, and they had to work it all it all out.
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yeah. yeah. she said look, and a margaret kind of preempted it and said, look, we forgive you, do you feel better now? and he didn't, so it took some time, they had to work through it and there were these long pauses in the conversation that would go on for three minute and i wanted to get up and leave it was so painful. but by the end of the meeting, the catch dorians were saying, you know, you are like our son, you are like our brother. >> rose: this is stunning. >> you can come back my time you are a member of our family. it is unbelievable. absolutely extraordinary and he has. he has been back several times. he has been back to see them, they talk on the phone. >> rose: how is he today? >> >> rose: because of this? >> i think he is better. he still says he can't sleep and, you know, there are members of his unit who i contacted, some of them kind of give you this standard marine response, you know, which is we did what
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we had to do and, you know, war is hell and that's the end of it but other guys, i mean i called this one guy, real sweet guy named kenneth tune and, you know, i think he was 19 when he went over and the moment i introduced myself on the phone, i never met this guy he started sobbing, you know, we murdered those people, and my god, we murdered those people. his wife had left him. he was addicted to drugs. and, you know, basically what these buys told me was half of the unit, half of their company, you know, 75 out of 150 guys are basically wrecked over this, you know, whether they are unemployed or homeless or drinking too much or, you know, divorced or whatever. >> rose: what does this say about the way we understand, understand veterans who are coming home? >> i think there is a lot of wreckage out there, you know, there is just all of this stuff, you know, and, you know, they get help, they get some but i mean, i think it is just really hard, you know, i mean look,
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this was -- i remember thinking -- >> rose: 2003. >> this is 2003. i was in one house, you know, one tiny little house in glendale in hair living room, the catch dorian's living roomy god there is so much wreckage in this room. and how many of tease are there, you know, in baghdad, of course, here, it must be everywhere, we just don't hear about it very much, i never would have heard about it but for facebook, thank facebook for that. >> rose: we were engaged in the longest war of our history. >> yes. yes. >> rose: and we had too many people coming back from combat and we didn't know what was beneath the surface? >> i think that is right. i mean, you know, they do get help but i think i mean, you know, if you just go over to whether it was iraq or afghanistan, you meet these guys and they are 25 years old and they have done three combat tours or four, you know, they are divorced, they have got two kids but you see that it is like
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goll, they live, they just live entire life times in three, four years. but it was just that kind, these wars went on forever so who was in there just went over and over and over again. you know, but what do you do? what do you do when there is an, i interviewed a guy in the piece, a psychiatrist who used this term moral injury. >> rose: yes. >> and he said a lot of soldiers and marines suffer from kind of moral injury, which he described assort of it happens when you get an order, you do something that you believe at the time was absolutely correct and the only thing you could do, and it turns out to have been have terrible consequences is basically what happened here. >> and even the guys, even the guys that were kind of very, very clear-eyed about it and said look we killed their family what do we say to them. >> that is -- >> like what do you do? what do you do with that, that knowledge? and, you know, and then there is the catch dorians,
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you know, and they are just living in this little house in glendale and nobody even knows they are there. god knows, there are thousand of those people, most of them are still this baghdad or still in iraq, but -- >> rose: what happened to all of the families in iraq? >> yeah, i mean, that kind of thing, an iraqi car or, you know, driving it to a checkpoint, you know and getting shot. >> rose: special at that stage. >> it happened all the time you know, because you can't -- it is so easy to see why, you know, you are some kid with a gun and you see a car coming at you 40 miles per hour and you are quelling in english stop, stop, stop, stop and the car doesn't stop, and you open fire, you know, it happened all the time. >> iraq today, what is going on? >> well, it is pretty unstable. i mean, it is holding together. i mean, here we are, you know, there are no american troops there, basically, and it is remarkable in a way that it has held together and i don't know, i mean, i am planning to go back
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pretty soon. thinkian i just came ar from the region and, you know, iraq sits on one side of syria and lebanon is on the other and i think there is a great deal of concern about what is going to happen when assad falls because he probably will fall at some point and i think will is, in 11 upon the fear, they fear a second faron war of some sort and in iraq, the fear is that the sunni insurgency could start up again because it will kind of be emboldened by probably a sunni takeover in syria. and so, but, you know, it is all very fragile .. and seems to be getting worse there. >> and syria also is spilling over into 11 on? >> yes, i mean literally spilled over i drove to the border when i was there and to the syrian border in lebanon and there was a huge fight going on, you know, a 100 yards away, there was, you know, free syrian army guys operating on the 11 needs side of the border, yeah, there was
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hezbollah think item coalition was running an ambulance back and forth are i mean definite think it is coming over and you saw what happened last week, you had -- >> rose: assassination. >> assassination of very senior intelligence official, yes and that has all sort sorts of consequences that was kind of a predom tenantly sunni organization in aid, i mean everything in lebanon is sectarian and usually it hangs together well, it is like iraq, but sometimes it comes apart, it is very fragile, so everybody sort of has an eye on syria, you know. >> rose: this article is calls atonement, it is in the new york magazine, by dexter filkins, thank you. >> thank you very much. >> rose: thank you for joining us, see you next time. captioning sponsored by rose communications
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captioned by media access group at wgbh access.wgbh.org fnding for charlie rose has been provided by the coca-cola company, supporting this program since 2002. and american express. additional funding provided by these funders. and by bloomberg. a provider of multimedia news
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